The sun outside my windows promises a warm day. Its sunshine creates a snug, cozy ambiance in the house.
We've been experiencing unusual weather conditions here in Ashland. We expect snow each year but it isn't expected to hang around. Snow below three thousand feet is usually a good house guest, arriving one day and leaving the next. You're still smiling when it leaves.
Not this year. This snow arrived last Thursday and it's still here. Honestly, will it ever go away? We're down at eighteen hundred feet. There shouldn't be snow.
But there is. The streets are clear and dry, the sky is blue and the bright sun is seductive with promise. Being a suspicious fellow, I checked our local weather station. Thirty degrees. That's up from the sixteen degrees reported at sunrise.
Being armed with this knowledge, though, I dress warmly for my walk. I'm doing a medium walk to reach the coffee shop today, three miles. Maybe I'll take a longer walk on the way home, I tell myself.
It is a beautiful, crisp walk under the sun's friendly presence. The distance goes fast and the quiet day encourages reflective thinking. One thing I reflect on is why I'm not walking more. My walking dropped off last year for a number of reasons in the final months. This is a new year, a new start, but I'm not walking more.
The realization dawns slowly, I'm not walking more because I'm writing more. The insight gains veracity under deeper review. I'm writing more frequently and my sessions last longer. While I track word counts to ensure I hit some marks, for the most part, I'm thinking in story arcs, character development, scenes and passages.
Writing more leaves less time for other activity. Most of those are less flexible than the time and distance I walk. Walking becomes the de facto sacrifice.
I like that I'm writing more frequently and in greater volume. I can see how I can change my schedule or make a greater effort to walk more often.
Thinking about all of this, I like where I'm at. I feel very positive. Of course, I'm positive by nature. I always believe in 'I can' and 'we can', and I often understimate the required effort to achieve goals. Then, when I belatedly realize how much more most be done, I become sad, disappointed and frustrated.
Learning and understanding that about myself might help alleviate negative reactions. I believe they will.
But like I said, I'm an optimist.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com